NBA Playoffs Schedule 2021: Dates, times, odds, where to watch

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We are down to a Final Four in the NBA — and it’s not the final four anyone predicted. Upsets and young stars proving they are ready for the big stage have made these a playoffs to remember.

The NBA postseason heads into its Conference Finals series.

Here is the 2021 NBA playoffs schedule (all times are Eastern), with odds courtesy our partner PointsBet:

CONFERENCE FINALS

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Phoenix Suns (2) vs. Los Angeles Clippers (4)

Game 1: Phoenix 120, L.A. Clippers 114
Game 2: Phoenix 104, L.A. Clippers 103
Game 3: L.A. Clippers 106, Phoenix 92
Game 4: Phoenix 84, L.A. Clippers 80
Game 5: L.A. Clippers 116, Phoenix 102 
Game 6: Phoenix 130, L.A. Clippers 103 (Suns win series 4-2)

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Milwaukee Bucks (3) vs. Atlanta Hawks (5)

Game 1: Atlanta 116, Milwaukee 113
Game 2: Milwaukee 125, Atlanta 91
Game 3: Milwaukee 113, Atlanta 102
Game 4: Atlanta 110, Milwaukee 89
Game 5: Milwaukee 123, Atlanta 112 (Bucks lead series 3-2)
Saturday, July 3 at Atlanta, 8:30 p.m., (TNT) [Hawks -2]
Monday, July 5 at Milwaukee, 8:30 p.m., (TNT)*
*if necessary

SECOND ROUND

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Philadelphia 76ers (1) vs. Atlanta Hawks (5)

Game 1: Atlanta 128, Philadelphia 124
Game 2: Philadelphia 118, Atlanta 102
Game 3: Philadelphia 127, Atlanta 111
Game 4: Atlanta 103, Philadelphia 100
Game 5: Atlanta 109, Philadelphia 106
Game 6: Philadelphia 104, Atlanta 99
Game 7: Atlanta 103, Philadephia 96 (Hawks win series 4-3)

Brooklynn Nets (2) vs. Milwaukee Bucks (3)

Game 1: Brooklyn 115, Milwaukee 107
Game 2: Brooklyn 125, Milwaukee 86
Game 3: Milwaukee 86, Brooklyn 83
Game 4: Milwaukee 107, Brooklyn 96
Game 5: Brooklyn 114, Milwaukee 108
Game 6: Milwaukee 104, Brooklyn 89
Game 7: Milwaukee 111, Brooklyn 105 OT (Bucks win series 4-3)

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Phoenix Suns (2) vs. Denver Nuggets (3)

Game 1: Phoenix 122, Denver 105
Game 2: Phoenix 123, Denver 98
Game 3: Phoenix 116, Denver 102
Game 4: Phoenix 123, Denver 118 (Suns win series 4-0)

Utah Jazz (1) vs. L.A. Clippers (4)

Game 1: Utah 112, L.A. Clippers 109
Game 2: Utah 117, L.A. Clippers 111
Game 3: L.A. Clippers 132, Utah 106
Game 4: L.A. Clippers 118, Utah 104
Game 5: L.A. Clippers 119, Utah 111
Game 6: L.A. Clippers 131, Utah 119 (Clippers win series 4-2)

FIRST ROUND

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Philadelphia 76ers (1) vs. Washington Wizards (8)

Game 1: Philadelphia 125, Washington 118
Game 2: Philadelphia 120, Washington 95
Game 3: Philadelphia 132, Washington 103
Game 4: Washington 122, Philadelphia 114
Game 5: Philadelphia 129, Washington 111 (76ers win series 4-1)

Brooklyn Nets (2) vs. Boston Celtics (7)

Game 1: Brooklyn 104, Boston 93
Game 2: Brooklyn 130, Boston 108
Game 3: Boston 125, Brooklyn 119
Game 4: Brooklyn 141, Boston 126
Game 5: Brooklyn 123, Boston 109 (Nets win series 4-1)

Milwaukee Bucks (3) vs. Miami Heat (6)

Game 1: Milwaukee 109, Miami 107 OT
Game 2: Milwaukee 132, Miami 98
Game 3: Milwaukee 113, Miami 84
Game 4: Milwaukee 120, Miami 103 (Bucks win series 4-0)

New York Knicks (4) vs. Atlanta Hawks (5)

Game 1: Atlanta 107, New York 105
Game 2: New York 101, Atlanta 92
Game 3: Atlanta 105, New York 94
Game 4: Atlanta 113, New York 96
Game 5: Atlanta 103, New York 89 (Hawks win series 4-1)

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Utah Jazz (1) vs. Memphis Grizzlies (8)

Game 1: Memphis 112, Utah 109
Game 2: Utah 141, Memphis 129
Game 3: Utah 121, Memphis 111
Game 4: Utah 120, Memphis 113
Game 5: Utah 126, Memphis 110 (Jazz win series 4-1)

Phoenix Suns (2) vs. Los Angeles Lakers (7)

Game 1: Phoenix 99, L.A. Lakers 100
Game 2: L.A. Lakers 109, Phoenix 102
Game 3: L.A. Lakers 109, Phoenix 95
Game 4: Phoenix 100, L.A. Lakers 92
Game 5: Phoenix 115, L.A. Lakers 85
Game 6: Phoenix 113, L.A. Lakers 100 (Suns win series 4-2)

Denver Nuggets (3) vs. Portland Trail Blazers (6)

Game 1: Portland 123, Denver 109
Game 2: Denver 128, Portland 109
Game 3: Denver 120, Portland 115
Game 4: Portland 115, Denver 95
Game 5: Denver 147, Portland 140 (2OT)
Game 6: Denver 126, Portland 115 (Nuggets win series 4-2)

Los Angeles Clippers (4) vs. Dallas Mavericks (5)

Game 1: Dallas 113, L.A. Clippers 103
Game 2: Dallas 127, L.A, Clippers 121
Game 3: L.A. Clippers 118, Dallas 108
Game 4: L.A. Clippers 106, Dallas 81
Game 5: Dallas 105, L.A. Clippers 100
Game 6: L.A. Clippers 104, Dallas 97
Game 7: L.A. Clippers 126, Dallas 111 (Clippers win series 4-3)

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As he chases record, LeBron says he has ‘no relationship’ with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Sacramento Kings v Los Angeles Lakers
Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images
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Later this season, health permitting, LeBron James will pass Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the NBA’s all-time leading scorer.

Kareem has said LeBron has earned it, but also has called out LeBron on COVID issues (something Abdul-Jabbar apologized for). Have the two legends started to build a relationship as LeBron marches toward the record? Not so much.

“No thoughts, no relationship.”

This question was asked of LeBron days after Abdul-Jabbar slammed former LeBron teammate Kyrie Irving in a Substack newsletter, calling him a “comical buffoon” and saying he is a poor role model. Abdul-Jabbar has been a vocal proponent of getting the vaccine, Irving remains unvaccinated, and LeBron has posted on social media questioning the severity of the virus and the response. Plus, LeBron and Irving are friends, which could have sparked LeBron’s terse response (as could the fact he was ready to get out of the arena after a dull preseason game).

A week earlier at media day, LeBron had been kinder when discussing Abdul-Jabbar and chasing his record.

“And you know, obviously Kareem has had his differences, with some of my views and some of the things that I do. But listen, at the end of the day, to be able to be right in the same breath as a guy to wear the same [Lakers] uniform, a guy that was a staple of this franchise along with Magic and Big Game [James Worthy] over there for so many years, especially in the 80s, and a guy that does a lot off the floor as well,” LeBron said. “I think it’s just super duper dope for myself to be even in that conversation.”

Abdul-Jabbar has been more of a public persona in recent years, both around the game of basketball and discussing social justice issues through his writings. The NBA named its new social justice award after him. With that has come new relationships around the league.

One of those is not with LeBron. Will Abdul-Jabbar be in the building when LeBron does break the record?

We’ve got months for this relationship to evolve — if it does — before that big day.

 

Watch Zion Williamson score 13 in return to court for Pelicans

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Zion Williamson is back.

He certainly looked in better shape and flashed his insane explosiveness on his way to 13 points and four rebounds in 15 minutes Tuesday night against the Bulls, his first game after missing all of last season following foot surgery.

There was some rust, and the Pelicans are wisely bringing him along slowly and not breaking out the entire playbook for a preseason game, but in the moments we saw Zion looked like he was all the way back.

The questions now are can he sustain it, and how to the Pelicans mesh him with other scoring options in CJ McCollum and Brandon Ingram.

And maybe we shouldn’t leave rookie Dyson Daniels off that list, he looked good in his first NBA preseason game.

The Pelicans are one of the most intriguing teams this season, a team that made the playoffs last season with a push after McCollum arrived, and now they add the elite interior scoring and athleticism of Zion to Ingram’s outside shot and slashing, not to mention and a solid core of role players. This team has top six potential if it can get stops. But in a deep West, nothing will be easy.

Wembanyama scores 37, Scoot Henderson 28, as both make case to go No.1

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The NBA league office hates tanking — the action, the word, the mere suggestion of it.

But there is going to be some serious tanking in the NBA this season, and anybody who watched the Victor Wembanyama vs. Scoot Henderson game Tuesday (also known as the G-league Ignite vs.  Metropolitans 92 from France) knows exactly why.

What. A. Show.

Victor Wembanyama, the projected No. 1 pick in the 2023 NBA Draft, showed why he is a true 7’4″ unicorn who can do seemingly anything. He finished the game with 37 points, hitting 7-of-11 from 3, with five blocks, showed off some handles and even brought the ball up court a couple of times.

This play sums him up well: at 7’4″ Wembanyama is the ball handler in a pick-and-roll, looks smooth, and when the defender goes under the pick casually drains a 3.

Scoot Henderson, expected to go No.2 in the next draft, flashed his explosive athleticism to the tune of 28 points, nine assists, and five rebounds.

Ja Morant was impressed.

There was a lot for fans, scouts, and GMs to be impressed with.

For all his shooting an offensive game, Wembanyama was just as impressive on defense. His length and mobility forces players to change their driving angles to the rim. He also showed a fearlessness in going after the big block.

Henderson showed high-level athleticism and an ability to get to the rim at will, but he also set up teammates and an improving shot. Henderson is a dynamic athlete and a season playing against the men of the G League is only going to sharpen his skills.

Henderson made his case Tuesday to be the No.1 pick — scouts say he has the potential to be a franchise cornerstone point guard, a top-10 player in the league, and he looked it in this game. He showed no fear, even going at Wembanyama a few times.

However, Wembanyama will go No.1 because he just breaks the mold, there is nobody like him. Anywhere. He looks like a generational talent, even if there is some work to do to realize it. Wembanyama started to show that Tuesday night.

These two teams face off again on Thursday night in Henderson, Nevada.

Royce O’Neal on Durant, Irving trade rumors: ‘That was the summer’

Philadelphia 76ers v Brooklyn Nets
Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images
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The Brooklyn Nets are trying to move on from a turbulent, awkward summer where their two best players tried to get tradedone throwing down a “me or the coach and GM” ultimatum — and they are tired of talking about it.

It sounds like they have moved on from the Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving drama in the locker room, at least based on what Royce O’Neal told Michael Scotto of Hoopshype.

“That was the summer. Nobody cares about it now. We’re all here, and we’re going to make it work. We have a lot of work to do to get to where we want to go. That’s what we’re focusing on.”

No doubt that is the mantra in the locker room, and it’s easy to do during the carefree, optimistic days of training camp or even the first preseason games. The players believe they have moved on.

The real question about these Nets is what happens when adversity hits? And it will hit, it does every team. How will Ben Simmons handle the stress? Irving? Can coach Steve Nash keep the Nets all on task, or will the finger-pointing start, and will the locker room get split?

Those questions are why everyone is finding it hard to predict these Nets — they could win a ring, they could have Durant demanding a trade again by Christmas. Most likely they land in the middle somewhere, but every possibility is on the table.

Speaking of teams being broken up, Scotto also asked about O’Neal’s former team, the Utah Jazz, and Danny Ainge’s decision to trade Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell this summer. Ainge said “this team didn’t believe in each other,” but that’s not how O’Neal saw it. He was surprised the team was blown up.

“I was definitely shocked. I had been there for five years. The team we had for a couple of years fell short. I thought we were going to build on it. Things happened, so keep it moving.”

The question is will the Nets keep moving when things get hard?